Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie vol:53 issue:12 pages:885-94
<span class="subtitle">summary</span> <span class="subtitle">background </span>In clinical practice general practitioners (<span class="abbreviation">gps</span>) and society tend to stigmatise patients with psychiatric problems. <span class="subtitle">aim </span>To attempt to describe this stigmatisation by <span class="abbreviation">gps</span> and medical students on the basis of information given in the literature. <span class="subtitle">method </span>We searched the literature via PubMed using mesh terms: ‘family practice’,‘physicians’, ‘family’, ‘mental disorder’, ‘attitude’ and ‘psychiatry’ and the word ‘stigma’. In addition, literature was supplied by experts and articles were located by the snowball method. <span class="subtitle">results</span> Stigmatisation constitutes a major obstacle in the psychiatric and somatic care that gps provide for patients with a psychiatric disorder. Although such patients have a higher somatic vulnerability as a result of their psychiatric problems, they receive fewer technical and exploratory investigations than other categories of patients. Medical students too have a negative attitude towards patients with a psychiatric disorder. More education and training could lead to less stigmatisation but the effect would probably be only temporary. Personal experience is the main factor that leads to greater empathy. <span class="subtitle">conclusion</span> The literature suggests that psychiatric patients are victims of self-inflicted stigmatisation and stigmatisation by society and doctors. This leads to social exclusion and poorer healthcare. By tackling the problem of stigmatisation we could greatly improve the quality of life and healthcare for this group of patients.